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Oakland Chinese street festival.

August 30th, 2001

Here In Oakland
Thursday: Another day of web class in San Francisco. I feel good about taking it now. There are things we've covered that I will use on the company sites, maybe even stuff I'll use here, although that is a rash speculation. I don't think anything ever changes here. Still, even I, even the balls out procrastinator, will make changes. One day. If I'm pressed. Really pressed.

Two glasses of wine late in the afternoon around five at the City Center concert. The class in San Francisco is over at four, the BART train leaves at four eleven arriving in Oakland by four twenty five. A nice table, a good band, two glasses of the least expensive red. The afternoon quickly blurred and I dawdled for a while before going over to photograph the band. Not good to drink wine before shooting. Some days, though, like today, it's needed. A woman asked Are you a professional photographer?, the usual question. "No, I'm not, but I'd be happy to send you prints. You're the manager?"

Are you shooting color?

"No, I'm shooting black and white."

Oh, I'm looking for color.

This went back and forth for a while. Who is this guy, after all, getting between my band and the crowd? AOakland City Center concert. bit over the top, I thought. I get in, do my shooting and get out, all the while watching my manners, but, you know, standard manager behavior, a bite 'em on the ass routine that kicks in at the slightest provocation, protect and defend against, I don't know, photographers. Nothing wrong here. Right out of the manager's manual. A band needs protection, promotion and probably a mother. A manager, man or woman, needs an attitude if they're going to push their band to the top. That and alcohol. (Music sounds better after two glasses of wine. Three glasses and you think you've discovered genius. More and you get into the business.)

So, I told her I'd be willing to come by and shoot color if they were performing nearby. I understand how little money a band makes, been there, done that. I do photography for pleasure. She gave me her card. Please call me. Let's work something out.

Friday, early evening. We finished up the class in San Francisco by early afternoon and I got home in time to drive over and look at three separate apartments available on the other side of the lake that are still within walking distance of the office. The first two were smaller than my current apartment and cost some $300 more a month than I'm paying now. The third was nice, one bedroom with a dining room, a decent kitchen with a gas stove and plenty of storage in an older building with a good feeling about it, but an additional $600. I'm going to look at more tomorrow. I can afford it, I suppose, but I'm beginning to feel like a rent slave: older, more tired and trapped, here in Oakland.

A photograph taken at the local Oakland Chinese street festival and a photo of a woman at the Thursday City Center concert. The quote is from the play, A Woman of No Importance, by Oscar Wilde.